The assorted finds of Artefact Publishing

Dual layer DVD writing

Some time ago I purchased an NEC 3520 DVD burner, capable of writing Dual/Double Layer DVDs. Sadly, it didn’t work at all on Verbatim DVD-R DL discs, even though it ought to have. I don’t know where the problem occurred, but I can report that I have now had success with Imation DVD+R DL discs. Someone else who had the same problem as me found that Philips DL discs also worked where the Verbatim ones didn’t.

Hopefully this information will prove useful to others out there who were similarly discouraged on finding that their burner didn’t seem to behave as advertised. No wonder people on mailing lists and fora always seem to be saying “try different media” in response to any strange error!

Posted by jamie on December 28, 2005 14:01+13:00


I don't use any brand other than Imation. Tell me, where do you get your DL media from? And how much do they cost? I have a Pioneer DL writer which has never had any problems but DL media is so damn expensive that I've never tried any.

Posted by: davidr on December 30, 2005 19:27+13:00

I got the Verbatim from Quay Computers (5 for $60, I think), and the Imation from Dick Smith Electronics ($10 each). I’ve been informed that TDK discs also works with the brand of writer I have.

Yes, very expensive indeed, sadly. I assume this is an artificial inflation of price, perhaps to make pirating movies less appealing, but I don’t know.

Posted by: Jamie on December 31, 2005 15:18+13:00

Sorry if this seems like too obvious a question, but have you installed the latest firmware upgrade? There's one here:

Posted by: Dave Moskovitz on January 31, 2006 11:30+13:00

Dave, yes, I installed the latest (at the time) firmware (a surprisingly unharrowing process, despite the many dire warnings) before trying anything, as it had been indicated that this was necessary for dual-layer burning.

It seems that it is entirely down to different media, though what differs between them I don’t know.

Posted by: Jamie on January 31, 2006 14:36+13:00